What options the new President of Ukraine has?

In eve of the Maidan uprising last February Petro Poroshenko, then Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Co-Chairman of the Committee on Ukraine/EU Parliamentary Cooperation, met with Catherine Ashton High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, who traveled to Kiev where she paid tribute to the victims at the symbolic place of the protest movement EuroMaidan. (EC Audiovisual Services 24/02/2014).

In eve of the Maidan uprising last February Petro Poroshenko, then Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Co-Chairman of the Committee on Ukraine/EU Parliamentary Cooperation, met with Catherine Ashton High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, who travelled to Kiev where she paid tribute to the victims at the symbolic place of the protest movement EuroMaidan. (EC Audiovisual Services 24/02/2014).

Petro Poroshenko, the new Ukrainian President elect, is one of the wealthiest men of his country, but he is not an oligarch in the sense that he hasn’t made his fortune by getting government contracts and concessions. He actually is the only exception to the rule, that all business tycoons of this badly governed state, have made their fortunes by colluding with the political elite to ruthlessly exploit the country’s wealth. In many cases the politicians themselves, like the ousted ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, have immensely and quite openly enriched themselves while in power.

Poroshenko’s fortune in the candy, chocolate and agricultural sectors are not related to government contracts, because his are market led activities. The government cannot convince the Ukrainian consumers to choose his products. That’s why he has not been related to the corrupt political factions, which governed the country during the last fifteen years. His democratic credentials are won during the ‘Orange Revolution’ but he didn’t redeem them for public money as Tymoshenko and others did. Poroshenko has been always in the opposition and participated in the Maidan uprising, but withdrew from the first line of events, when the extreme right wing ‘regiments’ took over the place.

Who backs Poroshenko?

That’s why last Sunday this man won the presidential election in the first round and understandably represents the last chance of Ukraine to remain in one piece. There is every indication that the majority of people consider him as Ukraine’s best chance to return to some kind of normality and for once try to arrest corruption, not nurture it. Seemingly the EU and Germany will back his efforts to pacify the east by firstly accepting those regions as equal interloqutors and secondly by promissing them some kind of autonomy. At the point things have arrived there is no other way out from the civil war.

In last Sunday’s election fight Poroshenko’s adversary was Jylia Tymoshenko, a former Prime Minister, but she didn’t really contest the election. It was clear from the very beginning that Tymoshenko couldn’t beat him. She participated in the contest just to acquire a good contact and relations with her adversary. She very easily and willingly acknowledged defeat. She even appeared with him on Sunday night to celebrate his victory (!) without even the official results being made public. In the future, Poroshenko’s relations with the old corrupt political nomenclature of Ukraine will be tested over his relations with Timoshenko.

Undoubtedly, the new President has a lot of problems, the most important of which are to keep the country united and govern it in almost complete absence of a state administrative machine, let alone a reliable chain of command in all government functions. However, by being the only hope for a reconciliation between the east and the west of the country, he has the EU and the US backing. Over and above, he has repeatedly expressed his decision to side with the European Union, and he explained his victory by the willingness of the majority of the people to connect Ukraine with the West.

Towards a decentralized Ukraine

However, he seems to understand that he cannot change the pro-Russian feelings of a large part of the people in the eastern parts of Ukraine. He also recognizes that the eastern provinces cannot accept the autocracy of the right wing ‘regiments’ of the Maidan, which have become so far an absolute authority. To overcome those hurdles, analysts say that Poroshenko will work towards a solution of decentralized reform in Ukraine, in order to win back the hearts of the populations in the east. In reality there is no other way to keep the country united.

The latest fighting in Donetsk airport yesterday is actually a warning to Poroshenko. Only a few hours after the results of the Presidential election were made known, pro-Russian gunmen attacked the Ukrainian army guarding the main airfield in the region. The gun men had previously paraded in the center of the city in front of a cheering crowd of thousands of people. The new President knows that it will be very difficult to keep the country united if the organized separatist gunmen in the east maintain their close references to the local society. The only way to neutralize the armed militias and deprive them from their connections with the local people, is to offer some form of autonomy for the eastern provinces from Kiev.

Russia’s tactics

So far the Russian decision makers, President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have stated that they will cooperate with Poroshenko and they have just stopped short of recognizing him as representing the new legitimate political authority in Ukraine. Lavrov explained that Russia is ready to sit down with the new Ukrainian President to settle their differences, but Moscow refuses to accept the West, the EU and the US, on the same table as Poroshenko seems to want.

In any case, Poroshenko has the backing of the West, the tolerance of Russia, and represents the only hope of the Ukrainian people to keep the country in one piece. If this hope is strong enough to bridge the gap the civil confrontation has dug, it remains to be seen.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

Switzerland to favour EU citizens in immigration quotas as the risk of a new referendum looms

“BEUC cautions against TTIP that would seek to align EU and US chemicals management frameworks”

Is the ECB ready to flood Eurozone with freshly printed money?

EU Commission: a rise in wages and salaries may help create more jobs

Big impact vs big exit: the social side of the start-up game presented at the WSA Global Congress in Vienna

EU Parliament: ECB accountable for not supporting real economy

Will the three major parties retain control of the new EU Parliament?

Has the treacherous theory about the ‘French patient’ finally prevailed?

Historical success for the First ever European Presidential Debate

After the Italian ‘no’ and the Brexit, Germans must decide which Europe they want

The world has made spectacular progress in every measure of well-being. So why does almost no one know about it?

Chinese “BeiDou” GPS goes to market

The next EU President will first have to drink his tea at Downing Street

How biotechnology is evolving in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Intel @ European Business Summit 2014: Better decisions now, the new business dashboard 

Migration crisis update: lack of solidarity not only among EU leaders but also EU officials

From inconvenience to opportunity: the importance of international medical exchanges

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

German political spillovers: ECB’s Draghi resists first attacks by AfD

A Valentine’s Special: heart has nothing to do with it, it’s all Brain

ECB settles the bank resolution issue, makes banking union tangible

EU-Russia relations: the beginning of a warmer winter?

European banking stress tests 2014: A more adverse approach for a shorter banking sector

Is history a new NATO weapons against Russia?

The IMF overstates the risks for Eurozone and downgrades the threats for the US economy

Here are 4 of the most politically charged World Cup games ever played

Military escalation will have ‘serious consequences’ for Yemeni civilians, warns UN Special Envoy

EU-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement sees the light as Moscow’s reaction once more looms

Glaringly false reassurances about the repercussions of the EU-US free trade agreement

A Sting Exclusive: “Regional Policy: a fully-fledged investment policy”, Commissioner Cretu reveals live from European Business Summit 2015

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to embrace unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi

Hollande protects the euro from the attacks of extremists

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

A new world that demands new doctors in the fourth industrial revolution

“China will strive to enhance the performance of economic growth”, President Xi highlights from the World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

Ethiopia will soon introduce visa-free travel for all Africans

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

Paris agreed with Berlin over a loose and ineffective banking union

Banks, insurance giants are free again to abuse the real economy

World Health Organisation and medical students: is there any room for improvement?

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

Education and Training: where do we stand in 2014?

The European Sting @ European Business Summit 2014 – the preview

Let’s Learn

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

Migration has set EU’s political clock ticking; the stagnating economy cannot help it and Turkey doesn’t cooperate

This crisis cannot be confronted with statistics

The DNA of the future retail CEO

“Fortress Europe”, “Pegida” and its laughing stocks

Warmongers ready to chew what is left of social protection spending

US-North Korea summit in Singapore ‘a promising development’ says Guterres

UN warns of ‘deteriorating climate’ for human rights defenders in Guatemala

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

EDRi @ European Business Summit 2014: Digital Citizenship in Brussels – the case of Net Neutrality

Are you breathing plastic air at home? Here’s how microplastics are polluting our lungs

Trump questions US – Europe kinship, approaches Russia

Here’s how China is going green

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s